It’s not unusual to see Mike Green on the ice these days as he recovers from undergoing sports hernia surgery. On Monday, however, Green was on the ice for more than an hour — the longest he’s skated since the surgery on Jan. 17.

“That’s good. He’s feeling better every day,” Coach Dale Hunter said, “It takes time, but the schedule he’s on, he’s right on schedule.”

The defenseman, who has only appeared in 10 games this season because of injuries, was on the ice shooting before his teammates started their session. He remained for the optional skate and then worked out briefly afterward with assistant coach Dean Evason and Mike Knuble, who is likely a healthy scratch tonight.

Tuesday marks four weeks since Green underwent surgery to repair what General Manager George McPhee then called a “little tear in the stomach” lining. When the Capitals announced that the two-time Norris Trophy finalist would have surgery they estimated he would be able to return in four-to-six weeks.

That Green skated for more than an hour is certainly a good sign, but he will need a few days of full practice with the rest of the team before he is able to return. Based on Hunter’s comments, one would imagine that Green could still make it back in the estimated timeframe as six weeks would be Feb. 28, one day after the trade deadline.

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